But the distraction I encountered 10 years ago occasionally afflicts me even now, so there are times when I just don't have the concentration to read. It's at such times that I devour cookbooks and cooking blogs, salivating over recipes that look delicious, and undoubtedly are, but that I probably will never make. I feverishly copy them to my electronic files, where most of them will rot in time. But some of the recipes look too wonderful to pass up. Sometimes they're a colossal failure. More often, though, they're delicious.
One such recipe came along a few weeks ago, intriguing me with its label "Bacon Jam." I've been a bacon fan since I was 18 (that's when I first lived away from a kosher home and was able to check out bacon for myself). And "jam" as a concept, when aligned with bacon, was too intriguing to resist. So I wrote the grocery list, headed to Guido's, came home and made the bacon jam. It couldn't be easier, nor could it be more delicious.
I've used it as a topping for cheese and crackers (Brie, chevre, cheddar), as part of a grilled cheese sandwich, and mixed in with scrambled eggs. I gave my friend Amy a container of it, and she reported that used as a condiment in a stir fry of spinach and other winter greens it was fabu. Said it put the dish over the top. I'm sure you can figure out many more ways to make this part of your repertoire.
So I'm offering this sensational recipe as my Valentine's Day gift to loyal readers.
|1-½ lb sliced center cut hickory-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces|
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 c strong brewed coffee
|Line a sheet pan with paper towels. Fry bacon in large Dutch oven over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until bacon is brown, about 20 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.|
|Pour off all but 1 T bacon fat. Add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, maple syrup, and coffee, bring to a boil, scraping up bacon bits from bottom of pan. After 2 minutes, add baon and stir to combine.|
Reduce heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is burning. If jam seems to be cooking too fast, add 1/4 c water every now and then. When the liquid is syrupy, remove pot from heat. let it sit for 5 minutes, then transfer contents to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Let jam cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container. It can last for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.